Are you on too much?

© Jenn Shallvey 2015

© Jenn Shallvey 2015

“Wake up. Wake up." The voice came to me louder and louder. No I was not dreaming. My husband was tapping me on the shoulder (not what you think) and telling me to wake up. It was very early in the morning. With only 5 hours sleep, exhausted from doing too much, I groggily sat up and grumbled back the obvious question "WHY?" .

"The power is out", he said, then adding "I have to go (he was donating blood), you need to take over and sort it out."

"Really? Can't I go back to sleep please?", I pleaded knowing I would not. People need his blood.

"No the fridge isn't working and we need to get an electrician." he calmly asserted.

So being the one that works from a home office I stumbled past my desk to get the electricity sorted.  I tried everything - fuses, changing plugs etc.

Then I figured out that it was the dishwasher.

The electrician came to save the day. Only he didn't. That is not fair. Instead I got a really friendly and informative educational session on the workings of the three pronged plug.

Did you know that the three prongs do different things? I didn't.  But it was not the science that got me it was the metaphor. (Yes I see the world through a never ending series of metaphors. I am highly visual. Ideas pop into my mind all the time as pictures. When I coach people I see their situation as a series of images with meaning. The fun is in interpreting these flashes. Anyway back to the story...)

So here is this electrician saying to me I have a problem. The problem is I am not earthing the current. Visions of my failed direction in college physics flash back.  What do you mean?

He shows me the plug. The plug has one prong for EARTH, one prong for STANDBY and one prong for LIVE (I think that is what he said-remember I was half asleep). Both the standby and the live prongs were completely not working because the earth was not supporting them.


Oh!  So in my hazy,still-should-be-sleeping state I said "So you are telling me that I am running too much energy both when I am not on and when I am on?" 

"Yes." He confirmed looking at me a little confused. He then also added that this is highly dangerous and that is why my fuse box saved the day and cut off the current.

Oh!  So even more dazed I said "So that's why I am exhausted and need sleep because I have been on standby and on without balancing myself out?"

Right.  The earth for me was the balanced part that I was missing.

So what do I mean by all this?

I bet you already see my simple metaphor. I did when I was half asleep.

We all have our own currents in life and work. We are both in standby and on at different times of the day.  We can't live like this 24X7.  Somehow we need to ground ourselves, find balance and be ok.  How we each do this is as unique to us as a dishwasher is compared to any other appliance. But if we don't ground ourselves we don't work. If we try to work when not grounded then another part of us will step in and stop us - our body for example.

So I know this is a long way of saying a simple message.

Be grounded in everything you do, not just when you are on but when you are not on too.

Jenn Shallvey